A former staff of the Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS) Mr. Mark Egwuma and a businessman, Mr. Emmanuel Madubueze, have been jailed for eleven years over a N7 million fraud.
The duo, charged before Justice A. Otaluka, of the Federal Capital Territory High Court (FCT), Apo, Abuja, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), were found guilty on the 6-count charge filed against them.
The Commission had accused them of committing the offence in 2015 by cloning title documents for a plot of land in Guzape district of Abuja, and using same to defraud one Mr. Tobechukwu Obiechina of N7 million.
One of the count reads, “Emmanuel Madubueze, Sabo Zabwami Auta, Mark Egwuma, and one Mohammed Sanni Abdu (now at large) on or about the month of May 2015, at Abuja, forged a title document of plot 1693 Guzape, Cadastral Zone AO9, Abuja FCT, with the name of Mohammed Sanni Abdu with the intent to fraudulently use same to defraud one Tobias Tobechukwu Obiechina, of the sum of N7 million, the document which you claimed to be a genuine title document when you know it was forged or have reasons to know it was forged and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Act.”
Counsel to the two convicts, Charles Ohemu and O. Okokpujie, pleaded with the court to be lenient with their clients. The counsel claimed that they were both first time offenders, were on record as good family men as well as being fathers to very young children.
They added that the trial Judge should show leniency, more so as their clients had displayed utmost remorse by paying back the N7 million to the victim of the crime.
The court however discharged and acquitted one of the accused persons, Mohammed Sanni Auta, saying that his role of helping to secure a buyer for the land was done without him knowing that the title documents were forged.
Justice Otaluka, in her ruling, observed that the duo willfully committed the crime and therefore would face appropriate sanctions dictated by the law.
She therefore sentenced Madubueze Emmanuel to four years imprisonment with an option of fine of N250, 000 on counts one to four. While he would serve two years imprisonment on counts five and six without any option of fine.
Furthermore, Egwuma Mark was sentenced to four years imprisonment with an option of fine of N200, 000 on counts one to four and six months each on counts five and six. All the sentences will run concurrently.